In America, it’s easy to take the amount of internet bandwidth you have available for granted. Simple tasks like establishing a video chat are a minor miracle in Iraq.
One of the best programs to use on a low-bandwidth connection is Skype.
Whereas most programs attempt to connect at preset data rates, Skype actually adjusts its data stream to the speed of your connection. Obviously, the faster the speed of your internet, the better the video quality. Even at the slow crawl I’m connecting in Iraq, it still does a decent job of transmitting and receiving video.
Because of the slow speed, it occasionally disconnects randomly, which is really frustrating, but the alternative is not being able to see your family face-to-face for several months.
Word of advice to future deployers: get an account on Facebook, and get an account on Skype. This should be on every deployer’s checklist.